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My first year of coaching volleyball had its fair share of ups and downs, and despite my years of playing both club and high school volleyball, coaching my first team required an entirely different thought process. No matter how strategically you were thinking as a player, different components enter the picture as a coach (think motivation, organization, playing moderator, etc.).
One major area I overlooked was goal setting. In your first year of coaching, it’s easy to get caught up in game tactics, practice plans, and teaching the physical skills. But it’s the mental skills which will make all the difference, not only to your potential as a coach, but to your players’ potential.
From the very beginning, you need to understand what kind of team you are coaching, and what the expectations are from the school or club you coach for. Is your team expected to be ultra-competitive, or is just having a fun season with lots of playing time for everyone the mission of your organization? Do you need to schedule tournaments to play against teams that promise a challenge, or is scheduling local tournaments a higher priority? You should know the expectations BEFORE joining the staff as a coach, so the culture of your club or school team matches your own coaching style, this way you will coach more authentically. Continue reading